God used several things to give Randy Smyth a passion for mission aviation. His childhood jungle hikes and treacherous river trips in Asia-Pacific played a part. Experiences with his parents among the Dayak tribes added to it. As a teenager helping with pioneer missionarary work among the Urun Da’an tribe his desire grew. How could he best help speed the message of God’s love to people who have never heard it? Mission aviation!
Randy began service as a missionary bush pilot in Papua New Guinea in 1994. Over the next years he flew a Cessna 206 more than 5,000 hours, landing on grass airstrips to deliver food, supplies and Bibles. Thanks to Randy, the time missionaries formerly spent hiking jungle trails could now be invested in actual missionary work. Language and culture study went faster. Bible translation and teaching moved forward more quickly. Randy found great joy in thus speeding the day when people could hear the gospel and church could be established.
Along the way, Randy met and married Diana in 2002. Her previous history as a Cru missionary and then corporate computer trainer for Mercedes-Benz USA greatly benefited the mission work in Papua New Guinea. While Randy flew airplanes, she not only served as flight follower – tracking aircraft and coordinating communications – she also worked as a computer consultant. What a blessing to have her help with developing software system and coaching missionaries on computer use!
When family needs required a return to the US, the Smyths were greatly missed by the missionary team in Papua New Guinea. However, the move enabled them to pursue a related passion and fill another need. Now they assist churches in the New England states through educating and encouraging God’s people to reach out to unreached people groups of the world. They both love to help Christians see how our extraordinary God can use ordinary people to take the gospel to those who do not have it.